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This story is about a team of astronauts on a planet studying a Neanderthal type race. They become aware that a volcanic eruption is imminent. Unfortunately, one of the members of their crew is participating in a burial ritual and might not make it back in time.

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  • Also more details: when did you read it, and where? Was it in English? Any other details you remember? Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 10:04
  • 4
    Reminded me of the opening chapter of Star Trek: Into darkness a bit..
    – Stark07
    Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 14:49
  • Did this involve a warrior dying and a need to take his entrails across the mountains?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 13:39
  • @Stark07 - You mean it was badly written?
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 21:04

2 Answers 2

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This might be Plutonia by Vladimir Obruchev, first published in Russian in 1924. It is a quite hard science fiction novel, except for the conceit that the Earth is hollow. The characters are not astronauts, but rather a group of scientists who travel to the North Pole, where there is an entrance to the hollow inside the globe. The book features lots of interesting science about what the weather, geology, and paleolithic biota would be like in the interior world.

Late in the book, two members of the party, who were left behind at an early campsite while the rest of the group continued exploring, are taken in by a tribe of early humans, from which they eventually need to be extracted. And there is a climactic volcanic eruption, forcing the group to flee back to the surface world.

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Could be the Ugly Little Boy? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ugly_Little_Boy which is about a Neanderthal boy transported (maybe because of a volcano? can't remember, might have been hurt) back to present time and his relationship with his nurse. A bit of a long-shot, maybe.

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    It does seem like a long shot. What makes Asimov's famous story "The Ugly Little Boy" a better match for this question than the hundreds of other stories about Neanderthals? Does it have astronauts? A burial ritual?
    – user14111
    Commented Sep 5, 2015 at 9:19

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